Saturday, March 20, 2010

Confidence Kept Me From Running in This Nasty Cold Weather

Yesterday: 70 degrees and sunny, Today: Mid-30s with windchills in the high-20s, 20 mph cold wind, snow flurries in some areas - YEP, Welcome to Texas ya'll!

How funny that during my 60ish day running streak, I would have been out in this weather.  Now, with the streak over, I easily decided, "nah, I'll run long another day, even if I just need to make it a two-a-day during the week."  Why?
  • Because 6 months ago I would not have known that I could, if needed or called upon, run at all in that weather. 
  • Because I was not mentally tough about my running.
  • Because I lacked confidence in my ability to imitate Nike and "just do it".
But during the running streak, I ran and walked in all sorts of weather conditions.  I did a little in the snow.  I did a half marathon in pouring cold rain, lightning, and a little hail sprinkled in for effect.  I ran on days when it was going to rain all day, so to keep a streak alive, why fight it? I ran in hard rain at night - something I later regretted because I could indeed have twisted my ankle in a puddle where I couldn't determine its depth, and I'm smarter about it in hindsight. 

And this was the purpose, the goal, of the running streak.  I didn't have a number of days or number of miles to tell me when to end this unintentional streak.  At some point, I knew it was important to continue because it was making me a physically and mentally stronger runner.  And at the end of day 63, I was able to look inside myself and decide to wave the giant banner of "Mission Accomplished".

So now I know I can do it.  And the biggest piece is I DON'T HAVE TO REPROVE IT TO MYSELF.  So when I thought I could just sleep in and stay inside and keep warm and not completely wreck my running, oh yeah it was an easy decision.

Congrats to all who went out and ran in this weather today.  And if you decided not to run in it, and are not sure you could have if you needed to, think about that and maybe one day you'll go out in it anyway because it pays bigger mental dividends than physical you know realize.  And if you decided not to run in it for the reasons I also felt, I salute you too!  No one is better or worse for choosing to run in this weather, we're all just in different places in our running. :-)

Happy Running!


  1. Exactly what I needed to read tonight.

  2. I ran this afternoon, but the windchill was in the 30s here. I mainly walked into the wind, but it was nice having it at my back on the way home.

    I totally get what you mean about not having to reprove it to yourself!

  3. I actually feel like I pampered myself a bit today. Rarely a Saturday goes by when I don't run. My hip has been hurting and it is from over training, so I chose not to run as well. I don't feel bad about it one little bit. I've done 18 mile training runs in floods of rain and 6 am Trinity River runs when its been bellow freezing and today I just wasn't feeling it. Loved reading your blog Libby :) Jill Norman

  4. Great thoughts, Libby! I ran today, but would not have if it had not been a race that I had already entered and paid for (twice, counting Erik). It was a great lesson for me as well--I am constantly trying to step out of my comfort zone and this was a HUGE step out. I gotta tell ya, I really wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew. I could not have done it without Erik's help. Looks like I got quite the introduction to trail running.

    Your streak was such a great learning tool! I try to look for a lesson in everything that we do in running and your streak is a great example of that. For me, it is often more about the process than the product.

  5. I was so excited to be able to run the lake today, but just couldn't muster the energy in this weather... nice to have company on the "day off" especially since this is usually my long run day.

  6. Thanks everyone for sharing your comments. In a world of runners inflicted with "If I don't run, I feel horribly guilty or naughty", I was feeling off-kilter! And Michelle who commented here is a maniac for attacking her first trail half marathon in these conditions - you go, girl!

  7. You know...I think that trail running might be really fun on a nice day...

  8. Thanks for sharing helps with my own feelings of guilt for not running and sticking exactly to my running program (that I'm already behind on!). I'm running the Big D (my first) in a few weeks and I've yet to run 10 miles (that was supposed to be today)...hopefully I can get it in tomorrow and be ready in a few weeks!

  9. Kristin, this will be my 4th year running Big D. It was also my first half, too! If you do 10 next weekend, you'll be just fine. In fact, I've often told folks that if you can do 8, you can go out at a slower pace and complete your first 13.1 - you may be awfully sore the next day, but the crowd, spectators, and general race day adrenaline can make a lot happen! Good luck at Big D! If you want to meet up that morning pre-race, let me know. I'm meeting a friend who agreed to pace me to a PR, or drag me to one (I'd like to break my Personal Record of 2:26).

  10. I used to tough out workouts no matter what, because I was afraid of getting back into my old habits of not working out. After 3 years of on average 5 workouts per week... I realize that I'm not going to be harmed if I skip a workout if I'm extra super tired or sick. I'm actually better for it and get injured/sick a lot less often.

    I'm also a complete cold weather wuss. I'd rather run in 85 degree weather than 35...

  11. I ran most weekday mornings this winter and it was *fantastic*. Turns out the cold, snow, and mud are a lot more fun when it's just part of the routine.

    Congrats on your streak - it sounds like a blast.